The Most Wonderful Time! – Rahim Latif, Micaela Kromhout, Mallory Beaumont, Kiara Bhatia

by pavan
Rahimlatif

Year after year everyone eagerly awaits December and all the festivities it brings. The cooler weather and joyful atmosphere add to all the festivities of Christmas, making everything seem almost magical. Whether you’re at home with your family or in another part of the world, Christmas is everywhere. And for many people, Christmas is simply the happiest time of the year, the best part being sharing it with family and loved ones – apart from all the gifts, of course!

The spirit of Christmas can soften even the hardest of hearts and get practically everyone in the mood to sing some Mariah Carey. We sat down with students from The International School of Hyderabad (ISH) to speak to them about this special time of year and how they celebrate the highly-anticipated holiday.   — Rubaina

Rahim Latif
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I study at ISH, and I am in the 12th grade. I lived in New York for a few years, but moved to Hyderabad where I have lived most of my life.

How do you celebrate Christmas?
Our house is adorned with Christmas decorations every year without fail, and it helps create a nostalgic glow which I’ve grown very fond of. This is also the time of year when all my college applications are set to go out, so Christmas is helping brighten up this nerve-wracking time. That’s the thing about Christmas – regardless of whom it is or what they are going through, it brings a sense of joy and excitement, as well as an urge to spread love and give. It is a lovely time.

Do you have any specific family traditions?
My family throws a Christmas party almost every year which includes all our closest friends and family. The sound of Christmas music fills the house while the winter chills of Hyderabad settle in. It is truly magical.

What’s your fondest Christmas memory?
Every year in Manhattan, walking down the streets and seeing Christmas everywhere I’d go always warmed my heart. I love the cheer that fills the streets and the beautiful decorations that flood store windows.

What do you like best about Christmas?
I love the twinkle that comes from all the trees as they glimmer in all their glory. I also find the act of giving very fascinating. The holiday is all about spreading love and joy, and I think that’s beautiful. It helps that Thanksgiving and Christmas arrive one after the other, as they both remind us of the value of giving and the importance of family and loved ones.

What are the Christmas delicacies that make your mouth water?
There are so many to list! I love gingerbread cookies, hot plum pudding with brandy butter, the classic Christmas cake, and also eggnog!

Micaela Kromhout

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 16 years old and I moved to India from South Africa when I was eight years old. I go to the International School of Hyderabad.

How do you celebrate Christmas?
Every year my parents and I travel back to South Africa and spend some time with our family, which includes my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Do you have any specific family traditions?
It’s summer in South Africa during Christmas time, so we spend the day out in the sun going to the beach, surfing, and having a typical South African barbecue. We also open presents right before lunch. Another tradition that I think is very cute is that all the children in the house measure their heights against a wall in my aunt’s house. It’s always a fun time.

What’s your fondest Christmas memory?
I was the youngest in my family until my niece was born, which means that I had the responsibility of decorating the Christmas tree all by myself. I took it very seriously and saw it as a very big deal. But I also loved it and always got excited to see all the presents under the tree I decorated all by myself.

What do you like best about Christmas?
Christmas has always been my favourite holiday, as it combines the happy times of summer and the holidays. My favourite part about Christmas is getting to meet my entire family because I don’t see them for months, sometimes even years! All of us are either sitting around at a table, catching up and talking, or stuffed in the kitchen preparing special Christmas food, which is, of course, another favourite of mine! I love how close we all are to each other and I also get to reconnect with my homeland of South Africa.

What are the Christmas delicacies that make your mouth water?
My most favourite Christmas dish is Gammon with Honey Mustard and Potato Salad. Makes my Christmas everytime!

Mallory Beaumont

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m currently a senior at ISH. I am from England, but I’ve lived abroad most of life, constantly moving from country to country. I have attended eight schools in six different countries.

How do you celebrate Christmas?
Christmas has evolved for my family as we are constantly moving. Therefore, my family unfortunately doesn’t have any Christmas traditions that we particularly practice. However, when I was younger we would put out milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer!

What’s your fondest Christmas memory?
I remember one Christmas when my family and I went to Mũi Né, which is a beach in Vietnam. Although I was eight years old, I remember the vacation vividly because we had such a good time.

What do you like best about Christmas?
My favourite part has to be the mince pies back in England! I absolutely love them, but they are available only during Christmas as they are a seasonal dish. They are basically a mixture of dried fruits, meat, and spices encased in a sweet pastry. They are extremely delicious.

Kiara Bhatia

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I go to ISH, and I’m in 10th grade. I have two brothers who both go to ISH as well, and I have five adorable dogs!

How do you celebrate Christmas?
Christmas is always a big celebration for my family, and every year our family and friends get together to spend the whole day with each other.

Do you have any specific family traditions?
Every Christmas evening, everyone gathers around the piano to sing some Christmas carols. It is a very heart-warming and special time that never fails to bring a smile to my face.

What’s your fondest Christmas memory?
Many Christmases ago, my cousins and I put together a play about the story of Christmas, for the whole family. It was extremely fun and we enjoyed ourselves; truly a memorable Christmas.

What do you like best about Christmas?
I love getting together and spending time with the family, which is something that doesn’t happen often as most of my family lives abroad. There are very few occasions where big family gatherings happen, so everyone is always really excited and happy. I also love when all of us sit together and open our presents.

What are the Christmas delicacies that make your mouth water?
Every year, my grandparents make a Christmas special ham roast, and it is absolutely delicious! We only get to enjoy it once every year, so it’s definitely a highlight of my day!

 

 

 

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